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Adams leaves rivals in his wake to claim glory

Stratford AC’s Alex Adams eases to victory in the U11 race of the WMYA Cross Country League meeting at Hatton.
Stratford AC’s Alex Adams eases to victory in the U11 race of the WMYA Cross Country League meeting at Hatton.

A RECORD-breaking 60 Stratford AC junior cross country athletes took part in the opening West Midland Young Athletes’ Cross Country League meeting at Hatton.

The mission this season was to improve on last year’s history-making third-place finish in the West Midland Young Athletes’ Cross Country League.

Last year, Stratford AC finished more than 2,000 points behind Wolverhampton & Bilston and Rugby & Northampton AC.

Maintaining third place and closing the gap to the top two will be the realistic target for this season.

Although there was a record turn-out, there were still two gaps in the squad, one in both the U17 men and U11 boys, and so vital points were lost.

Despite this, Stratford AC finished third on the day, and slightly closer, on average, to the top two than the same time last season. This was due to some courageous and inspiring performances.

The most sparkling performance was Alex Adams (1st, 5.35) in the U11 boys. Having finished in second overall last year, Adams now has the experience as well as the immense talent to go one better this season.

This showed in the first race as he calmly paced himself round the 1.6km and ensured he claimed first place with devastating aplomb.

Adam Taylor (11th, 6.04) marked his continued progression with a well deserved top 15 finish.

James Day (59th, 6.48) and George Finney (96th, 7.50) made fine cross country debuts for the club, with the U11 boys team finishing in sixth place overall on the day out of 19 teams, despite being a member short.

There were six debutants in the U11 girls’ team — Olivia Clayton (36th, 7.02), Scarlett Richardson (38th, 7.02), Georgia Kirk (67th, 7.33), Ruby Edwards (92nd, 7.57), Katie Pridham (101st, 8.09) and Ella Peeke (113th, 8.56).

All six proved their talent and put down excellent markers to improve upon over the rest of the season.

The U11 girls’ team were led home by Molly Bullock (7th, 6.30) with Maria Watkins (10th, 6.33), Maisie-Joy Spriggs (18th, 6.33), Maddie Linfoot (19th, 6.33), Sienna Evans-Cook (78th, 7.44) and Venus Aun (86th, 7.54) making up the rest of the team not making their debut over the 1.6km. The U11 girls’ team finished a superb second overall on the day.

Maria Watkins and Maisie-Joy Spriggs in the U11 girls' race at Hatton.
Maria Watkins and Maisie-Joy Spriggs in the U11 girls' race at Hatton.

The U17 men’s race over 4.8km saw Seb Hopper (29th, 19.54) put in a courageous effort by ensuring he finished after injuring his ankle half way round.

Ollie Best (33rd, 20.04) completed the team that was one short of the three that count for overall team points.

Georgina Mitchell (13th, 16.45), following her triathlon success the day before, led the U17 women’s team home over the 4km, closely followed by Jess Sheppard (31st, 18.02), Edie Hutchinson (45th, 19.51) and Hannah Bexson (51st, 20.56). The U17 men’s team finished ninth and the U17 women’s team finished eighth overall on the day.

An impressive fifteen U15 boys and twelve U15 girls represented the club over the 3.2km course.

Owain Jones (5th, 12.04) led the boys’ team home with a superbly-judged race.

Jones was ninth at the half-way stage and then showed his strength over the latter stages picking up four places to finish fifth overall.

The U15 boys’ team finished in second on the day, only six points behind Wolverhampton & Bilston. Georgie Campbell (4th, 13.29), having just stepped up into

the U15s, demonstrated her true grit and determination keeping in the top five throughout the race as she led the team home to an overall third-place finish on the day.

Oliver Adams (65th, 15.03) and Ela Morrow (83rd, 17.24) competed in their first cross country league race for the

club and they should be inspired to continue their cross country journey over

the rest of season following impressive debuts.

Other U15 results are as follows: U15 boys: Dylan Williams (22nd, 13.03), Ben Jones (30th, 13.21), Cameron Collins (35th, 13.30), Will Crowfoot (36th, 13.30), Josh Angus (37th, 13.30), Tom Crowfoot (38th, 13.31), Rhys Mahon (39th, 13.32), Archie Musk (48th, 14.07), Adam Pomeroy (51st, 14.14), Matthew Ross (61st, 14.49), Sean Mata (72nd, 15.28), James Bexson (78th, 17.10), Fin Hutchinson (83rd, 18.42); U15 Girls: Abi Wootton (20th, 14.28), Imogen Sheppard (25th, 14.42), Ellie Bryan (53rd, 15.39), Daisy Musk (57th, 15.45), Olivia Hall (70th, 16.25), Ana Gionis (74th, 16.40), Charlotte Gravelsons (80th, 17.06), Thea Pepperell (86th, 17.33), Isla Jackson (92nd, 18.10) and Isobel Hopper (99th, 19.37).

Both the U13 boys’ and girls’ team race over 2.5km saw Louis Kendrick (8th, 9.22) showing his maturity with a lovely composed and relaxed run.

Joel Watson (38th, 10.17), made a fantastic cross country debut with Ned Campbell (52nd, 10.37), Caleb Spriggs (58th, 10.52), Cameron Black (75th, 11.28) and Harry Gravelsons (80th, 11.38) making up the rest of the U13 boys’ team that finished in sixth place on the day.

Ellen Taylor (40th, 11.01) led the girls’ team home followed closely by Evie Lowe (57th, 11.26), Helena West (62nd, 11.33), a fine cross country debut for the club, Millie Perkins (82nd, 12.05) and Sophie Ross (86th, 12.18). The U13 girls’ team finished 11th overall.

The next fixture takes place at Warley Woods in November.

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